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  G4M1 Model 11 Betty Manufacture Number ? Tail F-???
IJN
4th Kōkūtai

Pilot  FCPO Heihachi Kawai (KIA)
Co-Pilot  Sea1c Hikojirō Inoue (KIA)
Observer  PO2c Yuichi Watarai (KIA)
Observer  Sea2c Shigeyuki Kuwana (KIA)
Radio  PO1c Ryuji Morikawa (KIA)
Radio  PO3c Takejirō Ueda (KIA)
Mechanic  PO1c Mairu Ōtsuka (KIA)
Mechanic  PO2c Shigeyuki Miyamoto (KIA)

Crashed  March 21, 1942

Aircraft History
Built by Mitsubishi at Nagoya No. 3 Works. Delivered to the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). Assigned to the 4th Kōkūtai. Tail code F-??? last three digits unknown.

Mission History
On March 21, 1942 took off alone from Vunakanau Airfield near Rabaul on an afternoon reconnaissance mission over Port Moresby.

Over the target alone, it was intercepted by a pair of RAAF 75 Squadron P-40 Kittyhawk piloted by Wackett and Cox, that had arrived at 7-Mile Drome only two hours previously. They climbed to the bomber at 10,000' from astern quarter, and both fired ten separate bursts. The bomber attempted to skid, hide in a cloud and jettisoned its bombs. Cox scored hits on the port engine that streamed black smoke and oil. Wackett hit the right engine. The bomber exploded and dived into the sea, one mile west of Basilisk beacon to west of Port Moresby.

As RAAF P-40E Kittyhawks had only just arrived, Port Moresby signals held down a morse key, in a crude attempt to jam any radio warning. Later, it was noted that Rabaul called the bomber for hours afterwards on the radio, unaware it had been shot down by fighters.

References
Kodochosho, 4th Kōkūtai, March 21, 1942
Mitsubishi Type 1 Rikko 'Betty' Units of WWII page 39
Seek and Strike page 13
Thanks to Osamu Tagaya, Richard Dunn, Luca Ruffato and Edward Rogers for additional information

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Last Updated
January 5, 2018

 

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